Thai Grace In A Modern Sukhothai Smile–Quickflight

by bria4123 on October 27, 2012


Though he sports more tattoos than teeth, this resident of Sukhothai, Thailand follows the forms that his city’s artists perfected.

After exploring Sukhothai’s ancient ritual center, I wandered through the town’s outskirts and the countryside. The people charmed me as much as Sukhothai’s art did.

The folks around Sukhothai have lived around its art’s soft-forms since the state was established in the 13th century. The Sukhothai Buddha gently smiles as he attains enlightenment. As I walked in the town’s outskirts and biked through the farmlands, the locals were usually quick to smile and turn an encounter with a total stranger into fun. I was just passing through the neighborhood when the gentleman in the above photo bestowed his cheer on me.

Many of the local farmers live like their ancestors did when Sukhothai developed its art forms. As I explored little roads that tourists don’t frequent, people almost always responded in ways that mirrored their region’s art. Nobody was confrontational. Almost everyone turned an encounter with an outsider into merriment.

Thai society has cohered like this since Sukhothai’s emergence, and perhaps since it lived along rivers in southern China 2,000 years ago. People learn to live in harmony with each other and beautify the moment.

Thai’s learn this from an early age. I passed through the above kids’ neighborhood. I was tired after spending the day biking and walking around the area’s temples, but their friendliness renewed my energy. It was easy to feel that Sukhothai art’s gently animated forms ripple throughout the land and sustain its residents and visitors.

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